United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

Context:  Recently, Sri Lanka said that it will back the resolution proposed by Pakistan at the UNHRC condemning the Sweden government’s action to allow the burning of the Quran. About UNHRC:
  • The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system, responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the world.
  • Established: In 2006 by United Nations General Assembly resolution.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Human Rights Violation: It addresses situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them.
  • Discussion: It can discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations.
Membership of the Council:
  • Members: The Council has 47 members elected for 3 years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.
  • Voting: Direct and secret ballot.
  • Membership is based on equitable geographical distribution:
    • African States: 13 seats
    • Asia-Pacific States: 13 seats
    • Latin American and Caribbean States: 8 seats
    • Western European and other States: 7 seats
    • Eastern European States: 6 seats
  • India’s Membership in UNHRC:
    • India is re-elected for a sixth term to the UNHRC for the 2022-24 term.
  • Leadership of the Council: The Council has a five-person Bureau, consisting of a president and four vice-presidents, each representing one of the five regional groups. They serve for a year each, in accordance with the Council’s annual cycle.
  • Working of the Council: In 2007, the Council adopted an “institution-building package” that established its procedures and mechanisms.The mechanism are:
  • Universal Periodic Review (UPR): The UPR is a mechanism that assesses the human rights situations in all UN member states on a regular basis.
  • Advisory Committee: The Advisory Committee serves as the Council’s think tank, providing expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues.
  • Complaint Procedure: The Complaint Procedure allows individuals and organisations to bring human rights violations to the attention of the Council.
News Source: The Hindu    
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